RICHMOND, TX, USA
SPC, COMPANY D, 3D BATTALION, 69TH ARMOR, FORT STEWART, GA
BALAD, IRAQ 03/14/2007
Army Specialist (Spec.) Forrest John Waterbury, 25, died Mar. 14, 2007, near Ramadi, Iraq, when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire. He was stationed in Fort Stewart, Georgia, and served as an M1A1 Abrams tank crewman. John was on his third tour of duty in Iraq, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, when he died.
John was born on May 30, 1981, in Longmont, Colorado, the son of Steve and Barbara (Parker) Waterbury. He grew up in Texas and had one sibling, a brother Christopher. His father was Richmond, Texas Assistant Police Chief at the time of John’s death. His brother Chris wrote and recorded two original songs — “Sacrifice” and “Home” — that were played at John’s memorial service.
John was a quiet child growing up. He liked playing with his Legos and taking apart his Transformers. The mechanical fascinations of taking things apart and putting them together again followed him into adulthood and the Army. Being a tanker was his life. He loved being a tanker, said his father, Steve Waterbury
The family moved to Texas where John graduated in 1999 from BF Terry High School in Rosenberg, Texas. Following high school, John enlisted in the Army. John married Christi Michaud on December 3, 2004, at Junction City, Kansas. John’s residence for the last five years of his life was his wife’s home town of Wamego, Kansas. In addition to his wife, Christi, John is survived by a stepson, Wesley.
John was buried with full military honors in the Wamego City Cemetery in Kansas to a noteworthy demonstration of support from the local town and the Patriot Guard. The bridge leading into town from the interstate was lined with American flags. Hundreds of people lined the stretch of US-24 highway leading to the funeral home, waving arms and flags. At John’s graveside service, 300 members of the Kansas Chapter of the Patriot Guard lined the cemetery’s paths, creating a tunnel of American flags. John’s funeral service concluded with a 21-gun salute, a playing of “Taps” and a final musical selection played on the bagpipes.